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Flash question again

Robin Usagani

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I have 500D (t1i) and 550 EX. Is it true I cant trigger the 550 EX off the camera with my pop up flash? If I can, how do you do it? I have set it as slave but I cant seem to trigger it.
 
I do not think it can be done without using a optical slave trigger device. But the pre-flash from the build-in flash may cause issue.

If you want to go low cost, those cheap radio trigger works pretty well especially when use it outdoor during the day when optical trigger may have issue.
 
I have 500D (t1i) and 550 EX. Is it true I cant trigger the 550 EX off the camera with my pop up flash? If I can, how do you do it? I have set it as slave but I cant seem to trigger it.

Does the T1i have commander mode?
 
No, you can't trigger an off-camera 550EX with just your camera.
The only camera in Canon's line up that can do that, is the 7D.

You will need another master unit (or another slave unit). If you add another 550 or 580, then you could use one (on-camera) to trigger & control the other one. You could add the ST-E2 (non-flashing master unit) or you could get a 420/430 and use that as a slave to your 550.
Any of these options will give you full E-TTL functionality with the remote flash, which is cool...but the problem is that it uses light pulses for communication which means that you need line of sight when outdoors and bright sunlight hinders communication.

Another option would be to use a radio trigger set. For as cheap as $40, you could get a trigger set that will allow you to fire your flash off-camera. You would not have E-TTL metering etc....so you would have to set the flash power/exposure manually, but it's not that hard to do.
 
Big Mike, can you recommend me a link on amazon or ebay for a cheap but works like a charm solution?
 
No you cant trigger it off camera without a flash trigger which are easily obtained from Ebay at very little cost.
 
Here's also a good one. I'm using this for my 580EX when I use it w/ the umbrella

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/CowboyStudio-NPT-04-Wireless-Receiver-cowboystudio/dp/B002W3IXZW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1281538512&sr=8-1"]Amazon.com: CowboyStudio NPT-04 4 Channel Wireless Hot Shoe Flash Trigger…[/ame]

MIKE (or anyone) Do you guys know if the recharg time is longer w/ a trigger vs using it through the camera? It seems to me when I have it mounted to the camera Its super fast but off camera, the flash takes a few sec to recharg?
 
The recycling time of the flash is a result of how it's designed, the type & power level of the batteries and how much power it used for it's previous flash. The last point being the key here.

When you fire a 580EX at full power, it can take a couple seconds to recycle...but when you fire it at 1/64 (or something like that) it takes almost no time to recycle.

When it's on-camera, you are likely using E-TTL metering, and unless your subject is rather far away or you're using small apertures, then the flash is probably not working very hard....so you get quick recycle times.

So the question is, what power levels are you using when you fire it off-camera? (If you leave it in E-TTL mode, it will fire at full power.)

Flash power is just one part of the exposure equation, so you can require less power from the flash if you use a larger aperture, use a higher ISO or move the flash closer to the subject. So by requiring less power, you get faster recycle times and longer lasting batteries.
 
I normally set it to 1/2 or 1/4 power as everything is manual mode. Unless I dish out them oney and get the canon trigger which will alow me to use ETTL. But yeah, even at 1/4 power it seems it takes a few sec. Around 10 sec? I also have a new battery which I used to shoot maybe 50 images as test?
 
Mike, i will borrow my friends 580EX. So it is possible i can set off the 580 ex with my 550 without setting off my 550 of the camera? HMM how come the thank you icon is missing??
 
Mike, i will borrow my friends 580EX. So it is possible i can set off the 580 ex with my 550 without setting off my 550 of the camera? HMM how come the thank you icon is missing??

Set one to master and set the other to slave. And get the video "Canon Speedlite 580ex and 430ex" which shows all the techniques of everything you need to know about the setup. I believe it should work for 550ex too. Or you may also see if there's a video of what you're trying to do for the 550ex.

As for setting off one and not the other, if it becomes a huge issue, drop the power to the lowerst power for your flash mounted to the camera then the 2nd one becomes the key light.
 
Yes, you can set the on-camera master not to fire, while still triggering the slave. It's in the custom functions menu, either on the flash or on the camera.
Keep in mind that the flash will still fire, because that's how it communicates with the slave, but if you have it set right, it won't fire during the exposure.

HMM how come the thank you icon is missing??
You can only use it three times per day.
 

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